The plans are laid, and the dates are set. Mariah and I leave from Mexico heading north on April 10th! But none of that truly matters in the end. Why?.... Because I’ve only been given the time to write this blog by grace of mother nature and all her blessings in the Eastern Sierra. Much, much needed blessings. A blessing for the water table, our range lands, and all the wildlife that depends on the snow packs to make life possible.
The winter has hit hard here in Bishop, Ca and all along the west coast. The snow pack is reaching record amounts, and we have received about 20ft of snow in these last 3 major storms here in the heart of the Sierra. The spring is still a ways away and the forecast is calling for below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures; but we truly don’t know what the spring holds until it gets here. Nevertheless…I'll ride the long trail home North to the left hand corner of this country.
There was a moment when I was about 9 or 10 years old that I have been returning to in my mind while sitting out these past three storms and looking hard at the maps figuring out the finer details of this journey.
Dad had just filled a 5-gallon bucket of sea water to add to the old crab cooker that we had on the open fire pit at our family house on Lummi Island. He handed it off to me and asked if I could take it up to the fire (I can’t remember how full the bucket was, but I do remember that it seemed to weigh what felt like what an elephant would weigh to a 9 year old). Knowing a little in his mind that I might not be able to carry that bucket, but there was no way I was about to not carry the bucket up the beach to the fire that was about 50 feet away in front of dad. In whatever way I could think of (mostly doing the awkward duck walk with the bucket dangling between my legs) I carried the sea water up the beach. Arriving at the fire pit and dropping the bucket on the ground as my strength in my hands faded. There was dad, standing behind me muttering the words “Where there is a will, there is a way” with that smile of his on his face. I keep that same thought in my mind while planning this ride. This isn’t a ride just to complete the PCT in whatever way I can by bouncing back and forth, North to South, to complete the trail in its entirety when the weather fits my clothing. This is a ride that starts on the USA and Mexican border and stops at the Canadian border, 2,650 miles away.
As we mentioned in the beginning of this project, this is a ride that takes us back in time. When there weren’t borders and the comforts of our modern life. This is a ride heading North to Canada using our combined knowledge and skill as horseman, backcountry horseman, and mountaineers. The Sierra is going to be the hardest part of this journey with stock hands down. But, the important thing to keep in mind is that there is more than one way north. I'll stick to the PCT as much as possible but there is something that the backcountry has taught me over the years - that the best laid plans aren’t worth more than the paper they are written on until the trail is under your feet. Mother nature decides in the end, and it is our job to endure and adapt to what Mother Nature puts in front of us.
For the followers of this project that can’t financially donate (but if you can donate to the project and can’t give support on the trail…Please do. Money buys research and research finds a cure) to the project but still want to help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where along the PCT you live. I'll then get back to each one of you and let how you can help!
Thanks for the SUPPORT!